Marine Economy Growing Faster Than Overall U.S. Economy: Report

Data compiled by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) indicate that the marine economy is growing at a faster pace than the overall U.S. economy.

According to the first official Marine Economy Satellite Account statistics released in June, the marine economy accounted for 1.9%, or $397 billion of the current-dollar national gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, a faster pace than the 2.2% growth for the overall national economy, the report states. Real gross output, compensation and employment also grew faster overall in the marine economy than the overall economy for that year.

The statistics are updated to include refinements in methodology and presentation that the BEA incorporated after receiving public comment on the prototype statistics released in June 2020.

The Marine Economy Satellite Account is the latest of a series of satellite accounts that complement the BEA’s statistics, to provide greater detail and allow for closer analysis of a specific area of the economy by extracting information embedded in the core economic statistics, BEA officials said.

The report measures sales presented both by industry and by marine economy activity, which fall into 10 general categories. It concluded that tourism and recreation the largest marine economy activity for that year, accounted for $234.9 billion in gross output.

Nonrecreational ship and boat building accounted for $31.2 billion of gross output, increasing by $8.5 billion or 37.2% over the previous year, making it one of the fastest growing marine economy activities. Marine transportation and warehousing accounted for $63.8 billion, or 9.6% of the gross output for that year.

The government sector was the largest contributor to the marine economy for the year, accounting for 31.3% of value added, according to data, while real estate and rental and leasing accounted for $55.5 billion in value added.

Transportation & warehousing was the second-largest industry for compensation at $21.3 billion, with 43.3% coming from the “other transportation and support activities,” including scenic and sightseeing transportation.

Additional information on marine economy statistics is available online at